Chocolate Biscuit Pudding Cake: No Cream, No Bake, No Egg

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This Biscuit Pudding Cake is a great hit with my children. They simply love it and keep asking for more. What I personally love about this is that, it is not only easy to make but it is also affordable. It is so light in the pocket as you could actually use any biscuit available in your area, or even any left over biscuits you already have at home.

So without further ado, let’s jump right to it.

chocolate biscuit pudding

Chocolate Biscuit Pudding Cake: No Cream, No Bake, No Egg

Tina Poolan
Course Dessert

Ingredients
  

  • 360 grams biscuit of any flavor
  • 3 cups whole milk (or evaporated milk)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar (white sugar can also be used)

Chocolate frosting ingredients

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • In a sauce pan, over medium heat, combine all ingredients except for the biscuits.
  • Bring it to a rolling boil until the mixture is reduced to half, and has thickened (please watch the video to see the right consistency)
  • Let it cool down before pouring unto the biscuits, and chill for 6 hours.

For the chocolate frosting

  • In a sauce pan, over medium heat, combine all ingredients except vanilla extract, and bring it to a rolling boil for a minute or 2. Stirring ocassionally.

Notes

  1. The biscuits can be crushed into teeny bits, however, I suggest leaving large pieces around for aesthetic purposes.
  2. Another suggestion is to simply pour the batter into the biscuits without thoroughly mixing it, just let the batter sip through and flatten the surface for the chocolate frosting
Keyword biscuit pudding, biscuit pudding recipe without oven, budget friendly cake recipe, cake recipe with biscuits, cake recipes, chocolate biscuit cake withour condensed milk, chocolate cake recipe, dessert,, easy cake recipe, no bake cake recipe, no cream cake recipe, no egg cake recipe

4-Ingredient Mango Float without Graham crackers

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Mango float is one of our favorite desserts. It is sweet, creamy, and tasty. It will definitely satisfy you if you’re craving for something sweet and cold. Aside from this, mango float is as easy as 1-2-3. There’s no cooking, heating, or baking needed. All that’s needed is to alternately layer the ingredients in a container, viola…mouth-watering mango float.

In the Philippines, graham cracker is used most of the time. In this recipe though, I experimented and used whole-wheat crackers instead as graham cracker’s hard to get by on this of the world. It turned out well! It’s as delicious as I remember mango float to be.

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mango float dessert

4-Ingredient Mango Float (No Graham Cracker)

Tina Poolan’s Kitchen
Course Dessert
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 2 large ripe mango
  • 1 cup condensed milk
  • 250 ml all purpose cream or whipping cream
  • 30 grams whole wheat crackers

Instructions
 

  • Slice the mangoes thinly and set aside.
  • With an electric mixer, blend the cream until thick.
  • Add in the condensed milk, and blend for another minute.
  • Alternately layer the ingredients beginning with the crackers.
  • Chill for at least 6 hours.
Keyword dessert,, easy recipe, mango float, no bake recipe, no graham mango float, tina poolan

Chairball a Popular Game in Thailand

For someone who’s into basketball and maybe a bit of football, chairball sounds, well, odd and different. It’s different from chairbasketball and certainly not Tchoukball. Chairball is a popular game in Thailand.

It is definitely a big thing here. The first time I heard of it, was during a sports week. Fellow teachers who were in their 50’s were playing and they were good at it. It was a bit strange to watch because they were passing the ball without dribbling it. I didn’t understand how it was played and I was totally uninterested.

Recently, my daughter got into this sport and join her team for their school’s sports week. Although she’s been training for basketball, she apparently was able to adapt to chairball. This time, the sport got my attention. Unfortunately there is not much information (in English) about this game in the internet.

Here’s a short video clip of a chairball match played by primary students in Thailand.

What do you think of the game?

For now having watched the game there are few things I’ve learnt about Chairball.

  1. It is definitely a team game. So the one-man show in basketball is a no-no in this game.
  2. The ball is passed from one player to another without dribbling.
  3. Once a player has received the ball s/he has to pass it without moving her/his legs from where she’s/he’s standing.
  4. The player standing on the chair holding the basket is allowed to catch the ball. In other words, the player could bend forward, sideward, backward, and could tilt the basket towards the incoming ball, as long as s/he stays planted on the chair.
  5. The team that earns more points in a given period of time wins the game.
  6. For every ball that gets into the basket earns the team two points.

Have you heard of chairball game before? Have you played it?

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restaurant with view cliff sunset budget thailand travels

Restaurant with a View: Cliff Sunset, Koh Lanta Krabi

Restaurant with a View: Cliff Sunset, Koh Lanta Krabi

Cliff Sunset Restaurant is another restaurant in Koh Lanta with a fantastic view of Kantiang Bay Beach and has a great view of the sunset.

Four years back (2016), there was only Ploypailin restaurant on the cliff of Kantiang Bay, a very simple, small shack made of wood. Now, the beautiful trees that were once residents there are all gone and are replaced by tiny, thatch-roofed kiosk restaurants lining Kantiang Bay cliff. Where have all the trees gone; the environmentalist side of me is crying.

Moving on, as mentioned, there are several restaurants to choose from. The increased number of infrastructures in what already a tight place has caused parking problems, which restaurants owners have taken advantage of. Their signage reads: No eat No parking. Another sad effect of this business competition reads: No eat No photo.

Even our 9 and 6 year old children caught up and said “Why not? They don’t own the beach. “

restaurant with view

Anyway, we had lunch there, felt the cool breeze from Andaman sea and took delight in the beauty around us. With the cool breeze coming from the sea gently touching our skin, rustling our hair, and the rushing seawater below us, it really felt like we’re on top of the world. It gave such a carefree feeling. It’s nice to lounge for a while a forget about the worries of the world. What a lovely feeling!

There’s always a silver lining at the end of the tunnel, after this COVID-19 pandemic, it would be great to go back experience these all over again.

restaurant with a view

Cliff Sunset Restaurant offers a wide range of Western and Thai menu. We stuck to the basic and ordered food we’re familiar with.

Stir-fry Vegetables: @$2.97 (99 baht)

Minced chicken with holy basil (Pad Krapao): @$ 2.97 (99 baht)

Coke in can: @$0.90 (30 baht)

Scrambled egg (Kai Tiaw) : @$ 1.77 (59 baht)

Strawberry smoothie: @ $ 1.80 (60 baht

Pretty much affordable.

 

We wanted to go back and have an early dinner to witness the sunset. However, the weather changed just a few minutes after lunch. It rained cats and dogs all through the rest of the day. This didn’t ruined our short stay though, my children and husband hang out by the pool most of the after at our accommodation, Phutara Lanta Resort while I enjoyed a much needed alone time in our room.

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Ibis Phuket Patong Hotel

Ibis Phuket Patong Hotel Review

Accommodation: Ibis Phuket Patong Hotel

Location: 10 Chaloemphrakiat Riad, Patong, Kathu, Phuket 83150, Thailand. ☎ +66(0)76303888

Room

We stayed at a family room with queen sized bed and a bunked bed for the kids. The bunked bed is great, it is usable. I mean, we’ve been to Nadivana Serviced Apartments and it got a bigger and better looking bunk bed but our kids ended up cramped in the lower bunk because the aircon is just a few inches away from the second deck of the bed, which means it’s blowing air directly at you. Anyway, Ibis Phuket Patong’s family room is more than ok. It isn’t that spacious but neither it is cramped up. In terms of space, we think it’s smartly designed. It even has division for the kids’ mini computer area, where a playstation 4 is installed, and the cabled flat screen TV on the side of the parent’s area. It got a balcony over looking the pool.

Bathroom

It is small. However my husband said it didn’t feel cramp up. Also, I didn’t feel claustrophobic despite my dislike for small and tight places. So it is well-designed I should say. However, I have one hiccup that I couldn’t help but mention here. The area where the sink and toilet are, doesn’t have a drain, so water pools there. And to get rid of it, you’d have to mop or “kick” it into the shower area.

Compliments

It got the usual coffee, tea, hairdryer, electric kettle. It also got free bottled water, toiletries, bathroom towels, and pool towels. The room also has an intercom which makes communication with the front desk easy.

For the Children

We stayed in a family room, Ibis Phuket Patong Hotel knows just what children likes. Aside from the bunk bed, the hotel also has installed playstation 4. This is a sure hit for kids. Another one is “Teddy”, a stuff toy our kids lovingly named. It has become their playmate during our stay there, that saying goodbye is hard. Watch the video to see what happened.

Price

It is affordable! It’s a pretty big, well-maintained hotel with great service and an English speaking front desk (broken but comprehensible). Every inch of the hotel is clean and tidy. So with these, paying 176USD for a three-night stay in a family room is already a great deal!

Breakfast

We opted out breakfast. But when there, we decided to have breakfast in the hotel restaurant, TASTE Restaurant. I guess it’s pretty popular in Phuket. Anyway, ended up having breakfast there during our entire stay. We paid a little over 11USD per breakfast for all four of us. We learned later that the kids’ breakfast were free. WOW! Isn’t that awesome?

Pool

Most often than not we book a hotel that’s not only affordable but has a pool especially kids pool. Our children are simply big suckers for it. We appreciate that the hotel keeps their pool clean and tidy in spite of the surrounding trees. The size is pretty decent as well.

Overall

Oh we forgot to mention that the heating system is centralized, even the pool side shower is warm.

We had a wonderful stay. Our children obviously loved it. As for me, everything was perfect except that water pooling on the toilet area.

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United Residence Serviced Apartments

United Residence Serviced Apartments

Accommodation: United Residence Serviced Apartments

Location: 414 Sukhumvit Soi 63 (Ekamai 26), Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok 10110

Telephone: 02 711 5010

United Residence Serviced Apartments

Bangkok, Thailand

www.UnitedResidence.com

Room

We stayed at room 83, on the eighth floor of the building. This super clean, non -smoking room is good for 2-3 occupants, the third being a child younger than 12. It has the usual amenities you’d find in other hotels but what sets this apartment apart from other below 100USD accommodations is the fully-functioning mini kitchen. It has a two-door fridge, a microwave, and a front-open washing machine.

It is also equipped with the following:

  • Coffee and coffee maker
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Cupboards
  • Flat-screen TV with English channels
  • Wall-sized mirror
  • Built-in wardrobe
  • Mini terrace with clothes rack
  • Intercom
  • Towels
  • Toiletries
  • Hairdryer
  • Mini safe
  • Drawers

Bathroom

It is a OK. It’s super clean and comfortable. There’s warm water in both shower and tap. I, personally felt at home immediately using the bathroom. There are no weird stains on the walls and especially no mildew. The drain system is good, so water doesn’t pool around the toilet area unlike Ibis Phuket Patong Hotel.

WIFI

It is fast. Fast enough to stream videos from Youtube and other websites. There weren’t any hiccups logging in.

Parking

It is private and gated. So you could sleep sound in the evening knowing your car is safe in the garage.

Staff

They are friendly and speak English. They are quick to respond when we can’t get the washing machine to work.

Price

We stayed for two nights and paid 66 USD. If this isn’t a great deal, I don’t know what is then.

Overall

We love the room, the staff, and the location. We definitely recommend this.

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Geysers by the Road in Northern Thailand

geysers by the road
Geysers by the Road in Northern Thailand

Looking at these geysers by the road in Northern Thailand as cars pass by is but incredible!

Wiang Pa Pao is a district southwest of Chiang Rai, and a common stop-over for buses, vans, and private cars traveling to and fro. Chiang Mai is a three hour drive from Chiang Rai, and so this stop-over is definitely a welcome one. And why not! Wiang Pa Pao’s geysers are awesome.

Any one who’s passing by will definitely give this place a second look after all, it’s free. Definitely a budget Thailand travel! From a distance you could already see random white steam patches against the greens as you travel up and down the hills. If you’re new to the place, these would seem like smoke as if someone’s burning something except that it doesn’t dissipate in the air.

Innovation

What we like about Wiang Pa Pao, is that they actually took advantage of these wonders without ruining it. They’ve paved the surrounding ground and constructed a fence around it. They also built satellite pools where people could dip their aching legs. It has become a great tourist attraction of the place and consequently a decent source of income. And we believe the entire length of the road that stretches from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai was so design having the geysers in mind.

Source of Income

As mentioned, these geysers by the road have attracted so many tourists. Thus increasing the district’s revenue. Here, you’ll find restaurants, souvenir shops, Seven Eleven, Accommodations, and even jewellery shops. Some locals sell hard-boiled eggs cooked in one of the pools. Water’s temperature is at 98 degrees celsius. Really hot!

Foot Spa

The place has at least 3 to 4 pools where you could dip your feet or legs. The water is so warm! It took us a while to get used to the temperature before we enjoyed the dip. A lot of people enjoyed it too, and really took their time while chatting with friends and munching on some tropical fruits.

Is it a great place to visit?

Absolutely!! One, the place is free. It requires no money whatsoever to enjoy this rare phenomenon called geyser. Second, the foot spa is relaxing and refreshing and you get to do this amidst the trees around. The geysers are by the road, so accessible. You need not hike hundreds of kilometers into the mountain just to see one. Lastly, it would be a great financial help for the people of Wiang Pa Pao who so graciously share nature at no so much cost.

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Singha Park Chiang Rai: A Must Visit

Boon Rawd Farm, famously known as Singha Park, sits a few kilometers away from the center of Chiang Rai. It is less than 10-minute drive from the White Temple. Singha Park Chiang Rai is one of the visited attractions in the city. Aside from it’s vastness and beauty, going in and exploring the place is free of admission.

Singha Park/ Boon Rawd Farm/  บุญรอดฟาร์ม.

It is a vast open land with so many beautiful attractions.  A giant effigy of a Lion (Singha in Thai) greets visitors at the entrance with numerous variety of colorful flowers prettily landscaped behind. There’s a designated place for parking. Cars are allowed during low seasons. There are however two means of going around the park,  biking and by trams. There are different types of bikes for rent -mountain bikes, grandma’s bike,  and double bikes at 120 baht an hour.  Trams are scheduled at regular intervals and it cost 1.67 USD (50 THB) per child and 3.34 USD (100 THB) for adult. This takes tourists around the park and stops at the park’s destinations.

Telephone: 091 576 0374

Opens: 9.00 am to 5:00 pm from Saturday to Sunday

Attractions in Singha Park

  1. Flower Park. Different species of beautiful, colorful flowers are displayed here for at least a week or two and mostly during the first two weeks of January. The flowers were totally breathtaking.  The park is quite big that a couple of hours, which was the only time we had, is definitely not enough to leisurely roam around. And I suggest that you fully charge your mobile phones and cameras before coming,  The place is so amazing you can’t stop clicking.  I would certainly go back as I have not really fully enjoyed the place due to lack of time. I’d also make it sure that I have the appropriate camera. The photos I’ve taken of the flowers and the place are not great due to again lack of time and limited battery life.  In fact there were several attractions I haven’t photographed.  
  2. Swan Lake. Next stop is the swan lake. From the name itself this huge lake has plenty of white swan, and giant coy fish. Children could feed them through bamboo tubes that piped the sides of the lake. And just recently (as of November 2019) at the opposite side of swan lake is a large effigy of a rat made from hay.
  3. Tea Plantation follows. Here, you’ll see vast field of tea plants, such a pleasant sight of well-contoured greens. There’s a tiny station around here that sells tea powder. They also got customs and baskets tourists could use to take photos with.
  4. Zoo. Watusi cattle and short-legged horses are the main attractions in this part of the park.
  5. Strawberry farm. During the winter season that is from December to February, strawberry is aplenty. They are big and sweet in this part of Thailand.
  6. Mushroom and Herbs. As of 2019, they have develop a certain variety of mushroom (please see video). They also have variety of herbs like rosemary, thyme, basil, and many more.
  7. Zipline. Oh yes, I guess one of the highlights! We Zipline for the First Time, Made the More-Than-24 Hour Car Drive Worthwhile! This is the last stop of the tour. This place has a very nice restaurant that opens until the night. They also sell their own-made ice cream, the Boon Rawd Ice Cream. The zipline has a separate fee of 10 USD (300 THB). Aside from the zipline, they also offer other activities like wall climbing, biking, and survival trail.

Here’s a short video clip of the rock climbing activity in SIngha Park.

There you go folks. Hope you’ll have a great time there.

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Tips for Planning a Family Trip

tips for planning a family trip
https://pixabay.com/photos/family-trip-italy-alps-wander-789029/

Going on a family trip can be one of the best experiences for both you and your children. Trips provide opportunities to experience new environments together, and can open your children’s eyes to the world. However, without proper planning, traveling in large groups with kids can quickly turn stressful. In order to make sure you make the most of your vacation, here are a few things to keep in mind when planning a family trip.

Hold a Family Meeting

The first thing to do before starting off on any family trip is to hold a family meeting. Why is this important? According to the Center for Parenting Education, a family meeting is a great opportunity for children to feel like they have a voice in family decisions, and can increase family closeness. When it comes to planning a vacation, this is a great opportunity for family members to touch base on where they’d like to go and what they’d like to do. You can discuss dream destinations, as well as streamline and adjust vacation plans to fit family members’ schedules and expectations.

Plan Ahead

Once you’ve got an idea of where you want to go and how long you want to be away from, it’s time to start planning. While it may be tempting to leave things until the last minute, planning ahead will definitely save you a lot of worry and headaches in the long run. The Huffington Post recommends forward planning because it leads to less stress, as well as helps you spend less time and money. The earlier you start shopping around, the higher the chance you can snag rooms or tickets at a discount, especially if you’re looking at taking a trip during the holiday season.

Research Your Transportation

Traveling with kids can be difficult, especially when they’re young. You’ll need to do more research on your modes of transportation, as children have different needs compared to adults. If you’re renting a car, look at insurance packages and child safety regulations. For longer haul trips that require time in the air, an article by Aviation JobNet recommends comparing airlines before making a decision. Among the factors they suggest for consideration are ticket prices, luggage surcharges, customer satisfaction, and frequent flyer status.

Manage Expectations

Finally, before you head out on your trip remember to manage expectations. Traveling with children comes with unique challenges that will require a bit of creativity on your part, so you should be realistic about what you expect from this holiday. For example, child development psychologist Dr. Amanda Gummer recommends that international trips be reserved for children older than five, as they’ll be less likely to remember the trip at a younger age. Children also react differently to high-stress situations on the road, so parents should be patient and be ready to take lots of breaks. However, although being realistic is important, remember that vacations are supposed to be fun bonding moments. Leave some space for you and your family to have fun, and you’ll be sure to make tons of beautiful memories.

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Zipline for the First Time. Made the More-Than-24 Hour Car Drive Worthwhile!

Zipline for the first time, and it is the most exhilarating outdoor activity we have done to date. Zip-line consists of a pulley attached to an inclined steel metal cable secured on a slope. The person is attached to a free moving pulley and moves through the cable aided by gravity from point A to point B. In this case, point A is from an 8-storey tall building stretched to point B on the ground across a vast field of Singha Park. Yep, we did it. Zipline for the first time, and it made the more-than-24-hour car drive to Chaing Rai so worthwhile!

Chaing Rai is the northern most city of Thailand, just a few kilometers away from Myanmar in the west and Laos in the east. It is home to the famous Singha Park where this awesome Zipline activity is found, and where the annual Winter Balloon Festival is held.

How’s the experience?

Well, we geared up and took the elevator up. We watched the structures below get smaller and smaller. Anticipation is building up. This is our first time. We’ve arrived, 8-storey above ground. Cool breeze brushed our blushed skin, waiting for our turn. Hooks checked and put in placed, we positioned and got ready to go. Gates opened and with our hearts in our throats down we went. That moment when your feet leaves the platform and into the open seems like forever stuck in a few seconds. That moment you realize “HOLY MOLLY I’M HANGING HERE” and that there’s no going back. And so without any choice, you decide to let go and give the loudest scream of your life. We screamed at the top of our lungs, laughed, screamed, laughed, and screamed some more without reservation. We landed on the opposite side a bit shaky but safe, intact, and SO thrilled and exhilarated! What an experience! We’d like to do it again. And so we did.

We’re looking forward to our next zipline activity. It was awesome and something worth trying!

two kids geared up to zipline for the first time
Singha Park Chiang Rai Thailand

The takeaway for us from this zipline for the first time experience.

  • We thought it’s way too scary for us because of the height. But realized that we’re stronger and bolder than we thought we were.
  • It was a feat to try something out of our comfort zone, and actually loved it.
  • It is great to invest on giving our children experiences they could treasure forever.
  • For us as parents, to give our children a bit of a slack and let go of the worries, the “what ifs”, and just let them have fun.

Have you tried zipline before? How was your experience?

Please let us know by sharing it on the comment section down below or on Youtube. Thanks.

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